The workplace culture equation

Culture = Commitment + Convenience + Communication

It seems like such a simple equation, right? And the truth is, that maintaining a positive workplace culture really does come down to this simple equation. Putting it in place, however, is a different matter.

Researching and setting your goals, and then implementing a strategy to achieve your goals will require buy-in from literally everyone in your organisation. After all, the word culture is defined as ‘the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular group of people’. In other words, a culture only exists because of the actions and attitudes of the people who create it.

Let’s look at the constituent parts of the culture equation individually;


Commitment is not achieved at board level, although that is essential to the outcome. It simply begins there, where the directors and leaders of your organisation understand the value of a strong positive company culture and are prepared to invest in achieving it. Like all achievements though, it will take effort and persistence to make it happen;

Have a clear plan – a well-researched plan, with achievable goals is an absolute must. You will need to completely understand your existing organisational culture, warts and all. To create a thriving positive culture, you will first need to eliminate any negative elements, and that means finding them and acknowledging their existence. When it comes to planning something as complex as an entire culture, an ‘honesty first’ approach will serve you well.

Understand the elements of employee engagement – to truly create an environment where all employees are fully engaged, you must first embrace the elements that make up ‘engagement’. The five core elements that you will need to commit to are as follows;

  • Recognition of your employees’ achievements – make sure they know their roles and congratulate them for performing their role well. Do it often. Encourage employees to recognise each other. Make sure to remind everyone that this is an expected pat of their role
  • Professional & Personal Growth – almost all people want to know how they can develop, not only in their jobs, but also in their lives in general. Companies that provide the tools that allow this to happen will improve employee contentment. Put something in place for them.
  • Wellness (physical, mental & emotional) – it goes without saying that someone needs to be well enough to do their job. We are not talking about being ironman fit, or achieving spiritual zen, but we are talking about providing opportunities for employees to improve their physical, mental and emotional states, and encouraging them to take those opportunities. Everyone wins when they do.
  • Financial stability – employees need it. Just like your organisation needs to constantly balance the books to stay afloat, so do your employees. The problem is, very few people are trained to do so. So, train them. It seems obvious, right? The bottom line (no pun intended) is that your employees will feel pretty good when they are not in financial difficulty. Give them the tools and knowledge to help them achieve it.
  • Having a voice – so many people feel ignored at work. They believe, right or wrong, that they do not have a voice in their organisation. It simply makes them feel bad. Give them that voice. Find ways that they can contribute to the company, to the culture, to the business. Whether it is open sessions, meetings, surveys, or one to one feedback, show them know that their opinion is important.

And this is the most important thing to remember. You need to address all five core elements. Put it this way; imagine buying a gym membership and only working on your biceps. Sure, you might be able to lift heavy things, but you wouldn’t get fit by doing it.

A top-down approach is key – this part is simple. The leaders and senior management in your company must set the example in order to prove to everyone else that the company culture is precious to the organisation. Not only do they need to be actively participating in events organised, social nights, wellness days, or fitness initiatives, but they also need to constantly (and I do mean constantly) encourage others to participate. Your company culture will take time to mature, but it will require constant nurturing for it to thrive.


Here are some interesting statistics;

  • 60% of employees do not use company sponsored benefits because they cannot find them.
    (Harvard Business Review)
  • 60% of employees will stay long term with an employer that shows an interest in their health
    (Irish Times)
  • Only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged at work

If the first statistic above improved, the second two would follow suit.

You absolutely must make any employee benefits, perks, information, or policies regarding your company culture available 24 / 7 / 365. Add them to your intranet, put posters up, distribute flyers, and send carrier pigeons if necessary. Just make sure absolutely every single person in your organisation knows where to find them.


Over-communicate the message. Tell your employees over and over about your company culture, how proud everyone in your organisation is to be creating a special place to work, about the tools you want them to use to help in that development, and about their role in maintaining and contributing to that culture.

Ask your marketing team about the ‘rule of seven’. They know that in order or your message to be absorbed, your customers need to see it seven times. The message about your company culture that gets delivered to your employees is no different.

The culture of your organisation will be built by your employees, and that message needs to be clear in everyone’s minds.

Your company culture is like a garden. It needs to be designed, planned and constructed. Most importantly though, it needs to be nurtured. If it is neglected, it will die. If it is nourished, it will blossom. If everyone understands the goals and everyone understands their roles, the workplace culture equation is easily understood too.

Author: Tom O’Driscoll, Founder, Product & Solutions Director @ Wrkit

4 ways to optimise benefit communication

Good benefits are something every employee wants, however not all employees want to spend time reading about benefits or tracking down the information they need. This challenge regularly presents a dilemma for HR professionals with poor employee uptake inevitably creating an issue when it comes to justifying the budget for services which aren’t being used. Getting benefit communication right will not only make budget conversations easier but might also increase employee tenure.

At its heart, benefit communication is simply internal marketing and so the same approach should be taken to communicate with your employee audience as your prospects. Here’s our expert tips to help you optimise employe.

  1. Use the skills of your workforce – first and foremost, draw on the skills of your marketing team. So often we speak with HR professionals who are sending out ad hoc email updates without recognising there are talented professionals who understand marketing strategy available to help them. Allocate the role of internal communications to the department where it will have a dedicated resource.
  2. Plan a long-term strategy – with your marketing experts, draw up a 12-month calendar, plan in key calendar events which will complement your benefit comms. For example, if you have an employee discounts platform use days like Valentine’s day to trigger action.
  3. Use multiple channels – email fatigue is a major issue, make sure to build out a strategy which leverages multiple channels. Include canteen screens (or posters if you don’t have screens), intranet, IM, social media, company apps, even suggests using old school post to get your message in front of people. Word of mouth is an invaluable method of communication, identify champions, engage them in regular trainings and update meetings to keep them up to speed with what’s on offer, where to find the info and how to redeem/register for available benefits.
  4. Apply the rule of seven – The rule of seven is an age-old marketing concept which says your audience should hear or see your message seven times before they will take action. The same can be said for your workforce. Over communicating will guarantee employees know about every benefit on offer to them.

Effective benefit communication is essential to make a strong business case for existing and future initiatives. Take the time plan out your goals and how you plan to achieve them applying the above tips.  

Author: Sara Glynn – Marketing & Customer Success Manager @ Wrkit.

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments. Our platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings. Speak to an Engagement Specialist today –

Friendships at Work

As the old adage goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. It stands to reason then that making friends at work is beneficial to not only an individuals career, but their life as a whole.

Friendships are important in day to day life, from talking through worries and problems, to sharing accomplishments and life events. Having strong friendships and connections can combat negative impacts of loneliness and isolation, with research showing that those with positive friendships have a lesser risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and that they generally live longer and healthier lives.

In the workplace friendships are also important, however research shows that loneliness for employees is on the rise. This workplace loneliness can result in reduced job performance and increased costs for the employer as well as having a negative impact on employee well-being. Friendships, as healthy connections can help to relieve stress, combat feelings of loneliness and help employees feel happier, healthier both in work and in their personal lives. Below are some helpful tips on how work friendships can be encouraged and nurtured in order to relieve feelings of tension, isolation or stress among employees

  1. Show appreciation: no matter what position you are in your organisation, it is important to let your colleagues or supervisres know that they have done a good job by noticing their hard work, and by showing your appreciation for this work.
  2. Encourage and organise social gatherings: think outside of the odd lunch, or work drinks – organising a big event that encourages teamwork and co-operation, or that gives back to the community through volunteering, can foster friendships and connections. Examples include company picnics and hikes, or helping a local charity for a few hours.
  3. Monitor employee inclusion and belonging: It’s important that everyone feels like they are valued and  belong in the organisation. Inclusion programmes ensure that everyone feels involved. Check-in regularly to ensure programmes are well communicated and participated, through an anonymous survey, or by asking every member on a team for project status updates, feedback, thoughts, etc.
  4. Update and introduce policies: feelings of loneliness can be exacerbated by stress and overwork. It would therefore be helpful to ensure that the organisation promotes a culture of health and well-being, which encourages a work-life balance. This could involve reviewing current policies regarding annual leave, sick leave, and outside-of-hours work, as well as perhaps introducing new policies which encourage employees to look after their physical and mental health in the workplace, such as providing ergonomic assessments, or free or subsidised healthy foods.

Positive relationships have a profound and lasting impact on our health and happiness. Fostering a culture of inclusion and friendship will result in greater satisfaction, productivity and brand reputation now and in the future.

Author: Dr. Jennifer Fennel, Counselling Psychologist


Workplace Loneliness Is Sad for People and Bad for Business

Employee engagement – where do I start!?

The term “employee engagement” appears in leadership and HR literature the world over. It is a topic which comes up in every one of our client conversations, however the term seems to hold a very different meaning from one organisation to the next.

A Google search for employee engagement will yield a myriad of definitions, for example UK voluntary movement Engage for Success, defines employee engagement as “a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organisation to give of their best each day, committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.” While other definitions might vary from this, the overarching theme is an emotional connection between an employee and their employer organisation.

When addressing employee engagement, an organisation should aim to strategically implement sustainable programmes, initiatives and tools which will result in an employee having a sense of purpose and belonging. Something which will challenge the success of even the most holistic engagement strategy, is a lack of definition around company values and purpose. Engagement is intrinsically connected to the values of an organisation, so when considering engagement, the first place an organisation should start is with their own values.: the glue which will keep people invested (long-term) in the overall business mission.

With clear values and purpose, tools such as an employee survey can be leveraged to gain insights into the culture and mindset of a workforce. The eNPS (employee net promoter score) will provide a very basic understanding of engagement; how likely your workforce is to recommend your organisation as a place to work. Detailed survey questions assessing; workplace inclusion, wellbeing, communication, recognition and career development will provide a greater understanding of an organisation’s needs.

For organisations of all sizes and industries effectively administered surveys will help guide better business decisions. Utilising the feedback, an organisation can determine clear engagement objectives and a strategic approach to boost employee satisfaction. While the prospect of an employee engagement strategy might be daunting at first, with the right building blocks in place the planning process becomes easier and more systematic.

At Wrkit we specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments using our online suite of data driven employee engagement and retention tools – Surveys, Recognition, Wellbeing (POWR), Learning and Lifestyle Savings. Headquartered in Dublin (Ireland), with offices in London and Boston, we serve local and multi-national companies around the globe. Let our experience guide your next steps, get in touch today


Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager, Wrkit

The Secret to Successful Collaboration

Collaborative workspaces have their merits; they encourage team work, reduce needless e-communication and foster a culture of inclusion. However different people like to work in different ways and a collaborative environment isn’t always the most suitable. Depending on their role, personality, current mood or task, the most suitable environment for an individual will change.

In an open plan office which promotes collaborative working it is important to find ways to allow for quiet time and privacy, facilitating your team to work at their best. Here are our top tips to create quiet:

Encourage the use of signals: Encourage your staff to use headphones, earplugs, desk signs and even body language to clearly signal that they do not want to be disturbed. The system of signalling needs to be respected by the team and managers to work.

Establish protocol: In a truly open plan office where quite zones cannot be separate spaces, rules or protocol such as quite times or no email times can be implemented – limiting distraction from within the team. Any protocol such as this needs to be well communicated with rational.

Designate a quiet zone: If the office layout allows for it, a designated quite room with hot desks can add real value for the whole team. Like a library, a quite zone in a workplace needs to adhere to strict silence, once the rule is abused the value of the room is gone.

Allow for flexible working hours: When suitable allow people to choose hours that provide the best environment for their needs. If the office is quiet in the early morning or late in the evening and this arrangement can work for an employee allow them to choose their own hours.

Make remote working part of the culture: Allowing for flexibility in working environments can boost engagement and productivity. When it is suitable allow for remote work be that at home or the café down the road. A change in surrounds can have a high impact on productivity.

Add outdoor spaces: While they might be weather dependant, outdoor spaces can provide great alternative workspace and solitude for those seeking silence. Claim whatever out door space you have available and make everyone aware that this is an option.

Intelligent furniture: Re-evaluate some of your furniture choices. Where possible replace some standard desks with privacy pods. While these can help provide seclusion for an individual, they don’t go against the concept of an open plan collaborative environment.

For a collaborative environment to be effective, flexibility in the working environment must be an option. Try new things until you find what works for the majority and for the business.

At Wrkit we specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments using our online suite of data driven employee engagement and retention tools – Surveys, Recognition, Wellbeing (POWR), Learning and Lifestyle Savings. Headquartered in Dublin (Ireland), with offices in London and Boston, we serve local and multi-national companies around the globe.

Let our experience guide your next steps, get in touch today

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager, Wrkit